Luxury perfume is the finishing touch to that perfect moment or special occasion. With scientifically proven connections to memory, it is little wonder that fragrance holds a uniquely special place in our hearts as well as our minds. Some perfume lovers prefer to single out one fragrance as their signature scent: an unmistakable olfactory signal associated with their presence. Some regard it as a form of comfort: a protective talisman against the adversities of the day. Some choose a different perfume every day simply because it makes them happy.
From a mother’s embrace to a wedding ceremony, from a childhood garden to a memorable soirée, it is often a waft of familiar perfume that can tell the story better than a photograph.
The luxury perfume market in the UK is alive and well and showing little sign of slowing down. With new releases and increasingly ornate bottles and packaging, the appetite for high end parfum is unwavering. This is proof, if proof were needed, that an olfactory narration plays an important part in people’s lives, sealing a scented memory forever. From exotic, hard to source ingredients to limited edition crystal flacons, the appetite for scented self-indulgence remains timeless and unwavering. Here are five of the most expensive perfumes you can buy in the UK today.
Soleil Lalique Crystal Edition Extrait de Parfum (1500ml) £21,500
Lalique in Paris has been world famous for its precious artisan glassware for decades and ever since the house entered the world of perfumery, it has come as no surprise that their exquisite glass bottles are fast becoming collector’s items. This limited-edition crystal flacon contains a generous 1.5 litres of Lalique Soleil extrait de parfum: fragrance in one of its strongest possible concentrations. This is a mouth-watering gourmand fragrance, resplendent with notes of coffee, cardamom, almond, rose and jasmine. It might be the same price as a new car, but at this kind of strength, a little goes a long way. This bottle holds the equivalent of thirty 50ml bottles so it could well be a lifetime investment, if stored carefully away from heat and light.
Henry Jacques Oudh Imperial Pure Perfume (30 ml) £2,365
The ever-popular note of rich and exotic oudh is still surfing the wave of popularity, and in this majestic glass bottle lies an intoxicating blend of oudh, patchouli, leather and amber. Henry Jacques Oudh Imperial is part of the Les Classiques de HJ Collection and is pure perfume strength, which should last a minimum of eight hours on skin, and often even longer. The House of Henry Jacques was founded in 1975 and initially worked on creating bespoke perfume blends for private and corporate clients, but now each carefully produced fragrance is born from a collaboration between Henry Jacques and Christophe Tollemer.
BVLGARI Le Gemme Collezione Murano Lazulia Parfum (100ml) £1,900
Once again, the flacon itself is a collector’s item, being made of finest Italian Murano glass in a striking lapis lazuli blue to match its name. With oudh, incense, ambergris and jasmine, this is not a scent for shrinking violets, but a warm and distinctive fragrance that makes a solid sensory statement. Murano Lazulia was created by Master Perfumer Daniela Andrier who has also created an impressive portfolio of fragrances for global brands such as Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci and Armani. She has created every fragrance in the Gemme Collezione Murano collection for the House of Bvlgari, all with equally luxurious and collectible Murano glass bottles.
Roja Parfums A Goodnight Kiss Pure Perfume (100ml) £1,250
Often referred to as The Rock Star of British Perfumery, Roja Dove of Roja Parfums has a solid fan base for his coveted and collectible fragrances. Chair of the Fragrance Foundation UK, Curator of the Harrods Perfume Halls, and Master of his own eponymous perfume house, Roja is a well-established fixture in the UK perfume establishment. A Goodnight Kiss was inspired by the childhood memory of his mother tucking him into bed before heading off to a glamourous party. The fragrance is bursting with fresh green notes drying down to a powdery orris finish. A final touch of warmed spices and leather completes the picture. This is pure perfume strength so perfume lovers can be sure of a strong concentration in every spray.
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Dawn Eau de Parfum 100ml £985
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle is a Fragrance House beloved of both perfumistas and perfumers alike. Giving carte blanche to many of the world’s great master perfumers, the Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle collection has given the industry award winners as well as many cult classics such as Portrait of A Lady, Carnal Flower and Musc Ravageur. Dawn was created by experienced master perfumer Carlos Benaim, who was also the nose behind Ralph Lauren Polo, Elizabeth Arden Red Door, and Viktor+Rolf Flowerbomb, to name but a few. Dawn features the highly prized essence of rich Turkish Rose, blended seamlessly with olibanum (also known as Frankincense) and the ever-popular touch of oudh, which is sometimes known as agarwood. Dawn is part of a quartet of perfumes that make up the Desert Gems series that also includes The Night, The Moon and Promise.
There are many perfume halls in department stores around the UK that feature luxury fragrances. For true self-indulgence, visit the Harrods Perfume Halls, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum and Mason, Liberty, Selfridges, Jovoy and specialist perfumeries such as Les Senteurs, which has two branches in London. Remember to try before you buy, because at this price point, you’re making an investment. Many perfume houses provide Discovery Sets that can be ordered online. If you’re choosing instore, a good perfume consultant will be happy to share their time and expert brand knowledge with you.